Headline News

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  • ...(T)his past week brought news of another supposed breakthrough in producing fuel from biomass. Researchers at the University of Michigan announced that they had sped up the process that Mother Nature used to convert algae into oil...

    Christian Science Monitor
  • The Tesla Model S nabbed one of the auto industry's most coveted awards this week when Motor Trend named the electric vehicle as their 2013 Car of the Year. It is the first time in Motor Trend's 64-year history that the award has gone to a vehicle not powered by an internal combustion engine. 

    Christian Science Monitor
  • When the National Transportation Safety Board announced its 2013 Most Wanted List on Wednesday at a news conference in Washington, it put motor vehicle collision avoidance technologies on that list. The list is meant to focus attention on serious transportation safety issues. The technologies that the N.T.S.B. mentioned consisted of forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and electronic stability control (on vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more).

    New York Times
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    ...NASA’s X-48 recently passed a major milestone with its 100th flight. The blended wing body aircraft is a joint project between NASA and Boeing to explore the flight characteristics of a design that may become the efficient airliner of the future.

  • ...Larkspur’s roads are tied for with Napa's St. Helena for the worst in the Bay Area, according to pavement quality rankings published by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission this month. Larkspur, with median household income of $83,000, is among the wealthier cities in Bay Area. But the quality of Larkspur’s pavement ranks below some of the Bay Area’s poorest communities. 

    Bay Citizen
  • A political scrap over who should live in San Francisco is threatening to limit a plan to allow construction of tiny, 220-square-foot apartments to meet the city's housing crisis. The new units could become magnets for young, high-paid tech workers looking for a place in the city even though they work elsewhere, said Sara Shortt, executive director of the Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco.

    SF Chronicle
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    When architects designed the new Bay Bridge, they drew slender, white, side-by-side decks hanging from gently draped cables over the water as if by magic. That left Caltrans engineers with a challenge worthy of David Copperfield: Where do you hide the anchorages for the world's longest self-anchored suspension span?

    Contra Costa Times
  • After boosting car-mileage standards and putting the state on a leaner energy diet, California is taking another giant step to stem climate change. Beginning Wednesday, an intricate and ambitious plan that takes aim at major polluters will begin under the nation's first cap-and-trade system.

    SF Chronicle
  • zzshuster.jpg

    Over the next few weeks, we could see a shake-up on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the House....Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) announced late last week that he would seek the chairmanship....Could the committee turn around under a Shuster chairmanship? His colleagues call Shuster “approachable,” “likeable” and “collegial,” with a leadership style that’s markedly different from his father’s, which was described as “ruthless.”

  • Cesare Marchetti is an Italian physicist, an octogenarian who still lectures and researches from a post at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria....The core of Marchetti’s seminal paper is an examination of "travel time budgets" through the ages (based on research first done by Yacov Zahavi in his fieldwork for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the World Bank in the late 1970s and early 1980s). 

    Atlantic Cities